My new dendrobium victoria reginae as it arrived in the mail
Faced with the decline of two of my orchids, namely the den victoria reginae and the psychopsis mariposa, I went and ordered two replacements. I purposefully chose a different vendor for the replacement plants.
One flower bud on the old cane
The new den victoria reginae is larger, and hopefully hardier. The largest cane is 1 foot tall, with eleven 2.5-inch leaves. There is one flower bud on the old cane, but I am keeping my expectations low in regards to flowers. First, I need this cool-growing orchid to survive the 100F heat wave that is currently heralding the start of summer in NYC (my orchids and I live without air-conditioning).
Dendrobium victoria reginae roots
I hesitated for a while in deciding how to grow my new dendrobium. The last one had 'died' (the canes are leafless, but I am still watering periodically in hopes of encouraging some new growth), and I didn't want to repeat my past mistakes. In the end I decided to go with the mounting route. My previous den originally declined while I had it potted, and (except for the mishap while I was away on vacation) it seemed to be recovering well while growing on a mount.
The roots on this den are of decent quality. There was some ancient sphagnum near the base of the plant (which I removed) and I trimmed off many rotten roots. However, there are many new roots tips, which which hopefully help the orchid adjust to its new setting. These tips are an odd bright orange color, for some reason.
mounted dendrobium victoria reginae
I mounted the orchid on a piece of aquarium wood, and perched it somewhat precariusly against the side of my shelf. Here's hoping it grows well, because if it doesn't, then I'll sadly have to give up on this beautiful species.
Psychopsis Mendenhall 'Hildos' as it arrived in the mail
As a travel companion for the dendrobium, I also ordered a replacement psychopsis. For a mere $10 more in price, this beautiful new plant puts my sickly old psychopsis 'mariposa' to shame. I absolutely love the deep green mottling on the thick waxy leaves. There are 5 pseudobulbs, and the largest leaf is 10 inches long. And as an added bonus, the orchid is in spike.
Healthy Psychopsis mendenhall roots? Maybe not
I tipped the orchid out of its pot to check on the roots, and was happy with what I saw. These roots are healthy and firm, with several growing tips. Since the media would not fit nicely back into the old pot, I up-potted the orchid into a slightly larger plastic pot, adding some extra media around the sides. I tried to minimize any disruption to the roots as much as possible.
If the flowers come out as beautiful as the leaves, then this just may become my new favorite orchid.